By Mary O’KEEFE
It would be difficult to find anything that has touched the hearts of Crescenta Valley residents more than the closure and proposed sale of Twelve Oaks about two years ago. But what a difference two years of litigation and protests makes! On Oct. 11, the community is invited to celebrate the recovery of Twelve Oaks and the beginning of a better future.
About two years ago, the be.group, then managing Twelve Oaks Lodge assisted living facility, sent residents a notice to vacate. The plan was to sell the property. The reason given by be.group spokesman Dan Hutson was the property was not up to their company standards and that it would not be financially feasible to continue the property as an assisted living facility.
The residents and families of Twelve Oaks, along with neighbors and the National Charity League Glendale Chapter (former management for the facility), disagreed with be.group’s analysis of the property and strongly disapproved of any sale of the property.
The NCL took be.group to court and, in August, the management and control of Twelve Oaks Lodge was transferred to the Twelve Oaks Foundation. On Oct. 11, the Twelve Oaks Foundation members are inviting the public to celebrate the transfer of the property.
“And to have the chance to bring people back onto the property,” said Paris Cohen, Twelve Oaks Foundation president.
Cohen added that so many people have been curious about what has happened to the property over the last two years and the celebration will give them an opportunity to walk through.
“It’s exciting to have this wonderful property back in the hands of a new board of directors with ties to NCL Glendale. It’s our hope to spend the next several months assessing the property and devising a plan to renovate and eventually re-open the Twelve Oaks Lodge consistent with the intent of the original donors, James and Effie Fifield,” Cohen stated.
The Foundation is looking toward the future of Twelve Oaks.
“We have received a few proposals [of what to do with the property] and we are seeking more. We want to pursue [Twelve Oaks] as an assisted living facility,” Cohen said.
To that end a lot has to be dealt with, from property assessment to repairs, as well as everything that is required to bring the facility back to an assisted living operation. The Foundation is reaching out to the public for help in raising funds for Twelve Oaks’ support. The Foundation and NCL have already begun to get the property ready for its future by cleaning and caring for the grounds, especially the many oak trees that fill the property.
NCL Glendale has appointed new directors to the reconstituted Twelve Oaks Foundation board. The new directors include Cohen, president, Fernando Aenlle-Roche, treasurer, Rose Chan, secretary and Gabriel Mendham and Anthony Portantino as vice presidents. All are former members of Glendale Ticktockers and have begun fundraising efforts to help pay the costs of ongoing tree trimming and maintenance.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so by going to www.pldg.tv/oaks.
All are invited to the Community Celebration at Twelve Oaks, 2820 Sycamore Ave., from 1 p.m. to
4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. Light refreshments will be served.